Emma’s Story

Emma’s Story

“They’re just all gone at once and I’m just this useless lady in my house, you know?”

“I think that the kids for me, I know that not everybody felt like that… they gave me routine. They gave me a reason to get up in the morning. You know, we would get up, we would do Joe Wicks… or we would do just dance… We had to do the daily walk… if it just been Neil and I, there would’ve been days when we probably didn’t even have got out of bed and watched… Netflix… and there was no opportunity for that. So there wasn’t a lot of rest but they gave me routine and they’re so lovely!”

“Every night I would write in my calendar, ‘Thank you for today,’ because it felt like stolen time. Because it was time they should’ve been at school, I shouldn’t have been with them… but I did feel as though… when you’re like, ‘I’m so tired, I’ve not had a second’… ‘there’s no privacy’… to write down… that I was grateful for it. You know that really, really helped, ‘cause there was a lot to be grateful for.”

Emma and children at Pollick Glen, Uplawmoor, photograph by Wes Kingston

“But then, once all that pressure was released and you’re going back into life, it gave us a chance to reset and go, ‘Right, you know, what do we want to cut out?’… There is a madness, we’re sometimes seeing people that we aren’t really that close to in favour of the people that we really love and so… we’ve pared down our social life… everything has become a bit simpler.”

“I felt slightly robbed of time in the world with the kids. So, I felt more robbed on their behalf… There was things that we would do, go to the library together or we would go to the beach and the park and all of that was done… I feel as though they were slightly robbed n’ it was a wee bit strange because I had had that so much with them. I gave up work when I fell pregnant with Lucy and I was just like, ‘I’m going to be a full-time mum.’ Loved it! Loved doin’ all that stuff with them… and I was so in that zone with them and then I came out of it and they were all in school… James… he did his wee induction days and then we had the summer and they were all gone. [clicks fingers] And I feel like I’m welling up thinking about it. So silly, because it was a grief of sorts because we were so, so together in this lovely way that we, that we wouldn’t have got. But it robbed me of those transitional bits where my brain started to get used to, ‘they’re getting older, they’re having play dates.’… James was this baby and then all of a sudden going to school and I was pointless. You know
I just felt like… it’s been thirteen years and that’s all I did and now there’s been no transition. They’re just all gone at once and I’m just this useless lady in my house, you know?… Definitely, there were bits that they were robbed of and I felt it for them, and that I did not get to transition into bein’ somebody who wasn’t this full-time 24 hour mum, and it felt sort of a bit cruel because it was like so 24 hours and then everyone was out the house and I just watched them go down the path.”

Testimony of Emma Green,
full-time mum of four
Photography by Wes Kingston
Interview by Amanda Robb & Joyce Jordan
Transcription by Amanda Robb

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